"And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.'"
II Samuel 6: 23, Amplified Bible
"Aloneness - Choice, Chance or Curse"
"We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually, we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves."
In my life have I ever found that I withdrew from the company of others?
What was the reason?
How have I dealt with "aloneness" in my life?
"There is none more lonely than the (person) who lives only for themselves."
Abraham Ibn Esra
"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges."
Joseph F. Newton
It's the last sentence in II Samuel 6. The Bible states that Michal, who was Saul's younger daughter, never had a child during her life.
As a quick review of all the texts we have studied that pertain to Michal's life, let's go back to I Samuel 14: 49, 50 where we find that King Saul had two daughters mentioned. The older Merab, the younger Michal which in the Hebrew means ‘brook'. The next time we find Michal mentioned is in I Samuel 18: 17-20 where we are told King Saul offered his older daughter, Merab, to David in marriage, hoping the price he had asked for, the lives of 100 Philistines, would result in David's death. However, Saul pulled a fast one on David and ended up giving his older daughter to another man in marriage.
In I Samuel 18, we read something very tender. It seems the ‘brook', Michal, fell in love with David. It isn't often the Bible tells us a woman loved a man but in the case of Michal and David, there's no question. Michal loved David and so her father, whose ‘property' she was, arranged for their marriage. In I Samuel 19, we read that after Michal and David were married, King Saul saw that his daughter loved David. This wasn't a brief affair. This was the real deal, to the point that when David's neck was on the line, Michal became his protector and rescuer. (I Samuel 19: 11, 12).
However, it becomes apparent, after David's escape from King Saul, the love story went awry. My question is, "Why didn't David take Michal with him or why didn't she insist on going along?" This got me to thinking about the palace life Michal was accustomed to versus the desert life Abigail had lived in. I wonder if David, who was on the run, didn't feel that the mountain life of a fugitive was no place for a princess like Michal, especially when David had such an uncertain future.
We find that while the cat was away -- Saul played a terrible trick on David by giving Michal to another man in marriage. Not that David was the picture of faithfulness either for while on the run he took two additional wives, and then even more.
Michal, now married to Phaltiel the son of Laish (I Samuel 25: 42-44), found her world turned upside down when her brother Ishbosheth, trying to cultivate favor with David, came to Michal's home and "took her from her husband Phaltiel," whom, we are told, wept at this turn of events. (II Samuel 3: 1, 12-13, 15-16).
It wouldn't surprise me at all that by this time, the love Michal once had for David had turned to bitter resentment. Finding out she was nothing but one of many wives probably didn't sit well with Michal, and so we read in II Samuel 6: 15,16, 20-23, that Michal rebuked David as being an undignified figure regarding the way he leaped and danced around in public. After this display, the Bible says, "Michal despised David in her heart." Frankly, I can understand why. Here was David, happy as a lark, jumping for joy while Michal was nursing a broken heart.
As I contemplate the meaning of her name ‘a brook', I wonder whether there wasn't a time in Michal's life when love flowed out of her like a bubbling brook, a cheerful, delightful refreshing stream of love. But life, as it can do to all of us, sends events and situations and people that we may allow to become blockages that divert our little bubbling brooks. Sadly, the water of love doesn't continue to flow smoothly anymore. What happens? Where we could build a bridge over the heartache and pain, we too frequently erect a wall - sometimes a big, thick one that won't let anyone in. This is what I believe Michal did!
The very last verse in the Bible which says anything about Michal is our text for today in II Samuel 6: 23, "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death."
I want to go back to when we began here at Transformation Garden, in Genesis, to study the lives of all the women in the Bible. I told you I would ask two specific questions as I studied in preparation for writing the devotionals.
Here are the two questions:
1. Why would God put this story in the Bible?
2. What does this woman's story have to say to me as a woman living in the 21st century?
I'd like to take these two questions and apply them to Michal's life and what I've learned about her, as well as what she has taught me about myself.
Like so many women, Michal started her romantic life with a heart open to love. A babbling brook of joy. And girls, I think we all, in one way or another, want to give our love to our knight in shining armor. We want the fairy tale ending - "happily ever after!" As with Michal, most women I've met aren't good at hiding their feelings. The love is visible - it shines on our faces. Just as King Saul could see that Michal loved David, when I brought my Jim home, my parents knew it was over -- love had finally captured my heart and thankfully, to this day, love still holds me in its grip.
But here's where we women need to learn from Michal. Life's challenges and pain have a way of blocking the brook. That's what happened to Michal. Finally, the day came when Michal looked at David, and despised him. It was this emotion of loathsome hate I believe compelled her to speak in a disdainful manner. She looked down on David and detested him. With this emotional pain, it is no wonder her marriage couldn't survive in a vital way. No wonder Michal had no children for she had no relationship with her husband. She couldn't stand the sight of him so she relegated herself to a life of aloneness. And this is where I want to focus for a moment on the title I chose for our devotional today, "Aloneness - Choice, Chance or Curse." And I'm relating this title specifically to the fact that the Bible says Michal was childless all her life.
I speak directly from experience for like millions of women, due to a medical condition requiring major surgery when I was in my twenties, I was left permanently unable to have a baby. Some would call this a "curse" of God for there are places in the Bible where it says "God closed the womb." That's the phrase. However, in fifteen different versions of the Bible, not one says God "cursed" Michal's womb. And I wasn't cursed either. I was born into a family where a medical problem was passed on from generation-to-generation of women. It was not just "chance" that left Michal in a position of not having children. It was her choice to withdraw into a world of aloneness. We as women need to take this lesson to heart. As a woman who couldn't have my own child, I can assure you, I've never felt or been childless. Nor have I ever been lonely or alone. For God has sent into my life many precious little ones who needed a special "mom." One who wasn't so busy with her own kids that she didn't have time to help a child in need of love. And to all the single women or widowed women or divorced women who come to the garden, aloneness does not have to be a blockage that stops our brook of love from flowing. This past Memorial weekend, it was nearly twenty-five years since my father died suddenly in his fifties. My mother has chosen to remain unmarried. Daddy was her one true love. Having said that, I've never met someone who has so much love flowing through themselves to give to every person she touches. Many of you have been touched by my mom for she personally, hand addresses every envelope with our bookmarks!
Michal's life teaches us as women that we must never let the roadblocks of life dam up the flowing stream of our love and our lives! Like one of my favorite songs says: "Just let your love flow like a mountain stream and let your love grow with the smallest of dreams and let your love show and you'll know what I mean, it's the season!" (Bellamy Brothers). Believe me, with this attitude, you'll never be alone or lonely!
"One loving heart sets another on fire."
Augustine of Hippo
"Pour on us, O Lord, the spirit of love;
so that, sprinkled by Thy dew…
We may be made glad by Thy glory and grace."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.